ARTHRITIS: Sample Medical Opinion Letter

Sample Medical Opinion Letter – Inflammatory Arthritis

Dear Doctor:

SPOILER ALERT: SSA does NOT CARE if you (the doctor!) think your patient is disabled! Ridiculous? Yes. But, there it is.

But, SSA DOES CARE about the SYMPTOMS and LIMITATIONS your patient has. What are they experiencing, and what can they no longer do? In this area, your opinion is extremely valuable and can have a huge impact on your patient’s claim for benefits. YOU CAN HELP.

We know that doctors are very busy people, and do NOT have time for SSA’s nonsense. That is why we have provided this sample medical opinion letter for doctors who wish to help their patients with a disability claim.

Sample Medical Opinion Letter

RE: Molly Hooper, D.O.B. 4-04-1970, SSN 123-45-6789

To Whom It May Concern:

My patient, Molly Hooper, has an Inflammatory Arthritis diagnosis that is severe. She is limited in daily activities and is unable to work on a sustained basis. This diagnosis has been confirmed through physical examination, medical history, blood tests, and imaging tests. Ms. Hooper was first diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis on January 18, 2012.

Ms. Hooper’s symptoms include:

  • Tender, warm, swollen joints
  • Joint stiffness that is worse in the mornings
  • Severe fatigue
  • Fever
  • Weight Loss
  • Dry Eyes
  • Dry Mouth
  • Chronic Pain

In an 8-hour work day, Ms. Hooper may:

  • stand less than two hours,
  • sit less than four hours,
  • require the ability to change position at will,
  • require frequent breaks to rest,
  • occasionally lift less than 10 pounds,
  • avoid lifting more than 10 pounds,
  • frequently be off-task due to difficulty concentrating,
  • be capable of low work stress, and
  • miss at least 4 days of work per month as a result of impairment.

I am enclosing all medical records, medical history, specific tests used, lab results, and relevant clinical findings.

In my opinion, Ms. Hooper is unable to resume any type of gainful employment due to physical impairment. Her fatigue, pain, weakness, and other symptoms will significantly and consistently interfere with work performance and attendance. Inflammatory Arthritis does not have a cure. My expectation is that Ms. Hooper will see a continued decline in function over time, lasting longer than 12 months.


Dr. John Watson

Does your patient need help with his or her SSDI/SSI appeal and hearing?

If so, please have him or her contact Deborah at The Hardin Law Firm, PLC, for help with their SSDI/SSI appeal and hearing. 

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Originally published: February 21, 2017

Last updated: February 21, 2017 at 10:00 am